Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Make a Miniature Fireplace For Your Doll's House Nursery

  • Find an old small wooden picture frame that is no longer in use.

  • Cut it in two, at the point where it looks the right height, to be a fireplace in your house.

  • Put a "mantel" of Balsa wood or even a cut lolly stick along the top.

  • Where a picture would usually go, fit a piece of cardboard to the frame.

  • Draw a rectangle where you want the hole for the fire to be.

  • Cut a hole smaller than you have marked out. Cut a diagonal line in the top two corners, from where you have cut the hole out, to where you have drawn the rectangle. This should now mean that you can fold the flaps back to create a hole with side walls.

  • You may want to attach an additional piece of cardboard to the back of this, to be the back wall of your fireplace hole.

  • Paint or colour the internal side walls, black.

  • On the cardboard you can do whatever seems best. You can draw tiles, put on coloured paper to create a tile effect. I cut up the pictures from HERE ( Find "Free projects and Printables", near the bottom left of the page, and then "Victorian Children's Stacking Blocks", down a bit, on the right of the page), to get Victorian Children tiles for my Dolls House Nursery. Print several pages and they cut up to just the right size for tiles.

  • Cover the cardboard with clear sticky back plastic.

  • Varnish the frame and mantel. If the mantel is a different colour wood to the frame try to stain it the same.

  • Glue the cardboard to the frame.

  • Glue a few mosaic tiles to the floor to be the hearth.

  • Glue the frame onto the wall.(You may want to try it with Bluetac first to sort out any problems you may find).

  • Find a little off cut of something to use as a grate. Even some card taped to wire, to give it a curve would do, as long as you paint it all black, copper or silver with acrylic paint.

  • Glue it on to the inside of your fireplace.

  • Put a few cut twigs into the grate, to be logs.

  • Glue some orange cellophane, scrunched up, onto your logs. Many types of sweet papers will do and you have the benefit of eating it first!
  • Find a little dog waiting to have his tummy warmed by the fire.

Monday, 22 January 2007


This painting is available for you to print, free of charge, for personal use only. If you want to use it on another web page, a link must be put to this site. Email me and let me know, I'd love to see it. The copyright belongs to the writer of this blog.


  • First click on the picture, of your choice, there are two sizes available. Then print it on to white paper or card. If you are feeling very keen, you could print onto canvas textured, computer paper.

  • It is best to cut it out leaving a white border, to give the effect of a mount. If it's on paper you may want to stick it to card.

  • Cover it with clear, sticky back plastic, or a layer of acetate. If you don't have this you can leave it uncovered.

  • Either put it in a ready-made dolls house frame. Or make you own using gold card/Balsa wood. You can wrap a gold sweet wrapper along the edge to frame it, or you can make a frame using Fimo.

  • Balsa wood or Fimo can be painted gold, or the colour of your choice, using acrylic paint.

If you do have a go, post me a comment to let me know how you got on. I would love to know.

If you would like to see the progress of this original picture being painted , have a look at "Artist's Progress."

Sunday, 21 January 2007

How to Make a Miniature Kitchen Rug - Free Dolls House Idea

  1. Cut out an oval shape from card, and cover it with PVA glue.

  2. Take some rough, thick string and starting it in the middle of the card, wind the string round and round, following an oval shape. Put a little bit of extra glue between some string that touches another piece of string.

  3. Keep going until the string overlaps the edge of the card slightly. Cut off the string when you have enough, gluing the end of the string well.

  4. Place it under something heavy, that it won't stick to, to dry flat. I use a tile or bottom of a plate, with something heavy on.

How to Make a Miniature Sack of Potatoes - Free Dolls House Idea

  1. Roll up some small ovals of cream coloured Fimo and cook until hard.

  2. Cut out two small, rectangles of hessian and sew up the bottom and sides.

  3. Using a black felt pen, write potatoes on the side.

  4. Fill the base with anything you have to hand, (such as cotton wool/rice), then put your "homegrown", potatoes on the top.

How To Make A Miniature Stone Fireplace - Free Dolls House Idea

To make a stone effect fireplace, as seen in the photo, you need to find some pieces of Balsa wood. Balsa Wood is light and easy to cut. I bought a bag of mixed pieces from Hobbycraft.

  1. Take three pieces that will fit well for two uprights and a mantel.

  2. Paint three sides of each piece with grey acrylic paint, making sure that your painting contains a few shades of a darker and lighter grey.

  3. Paint black lines to give the impression of separate stones.

  4. Glue the pieces onto the wall; two upright and one horizontally.

  5. If you want to, glue a thin, painted piece of wood onto the wall above the mantel.

  6. Hammer a few tiny nails into the mantel to hang pots from.

  7. Glue some tiny mosaic tiles onto the wall behind the fireplace, and maybe on the floor underneath, to give a hearth effect.

  8. Make or buy a kitchen range to put inside.

  9. Put tiny dishes, or ornaments onto the mantel, and cut up a few twigs to use as logs.

How to Make a Miniature Newspaper - Free Dolls House Idea

  • First print some newspaper pages HERE.

  • Cut them out and glue several pages together.

  • You can either have it open for a person to hold, or fold it, to lay on a table.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Family Photos - Free Dolls House Miniature Ideas

To make a sepia family photo as seen, on the piano, in this photo,

  • Click here for the link to be able to print

  • Print the pictures out onto plain computer paper.
  • If you want to, cover this with sticky back plastic to give it a glass effect.
  • Glue it onto some card. Tape or glue a /\ shape of tiny folded card onto the back of the photograph, creating a stand.
  • If you haven't covered the photo with clear, sticky back plastic you may want to glue a thin piece of acetate to the photo, to give a glass effect. Gluing only on the very edge.
  • Next, cut gold card or paper to make a frame, and glue it around the edge of your picture.Let it dry, maybe with something heavy on it to keep it flat.Place in your dolls house.
  • Alternatively, you can fold, then glue, tiny strips of aluminium foil, or gold foil around the edge of the photo to create a frame.
  • If you have trouble with it falling over a lot, discreetly put a little bluetac on it, (out of view) to keep it in position.

Personalising Miniature Flat Pack Furniture - Free Dolls House Ideas

Furnishing a dolls house can be very expensive. One way to overcome this is to use inexpensive, furniture that comes pressed into wood, that you slot together. Obviously this doesn't quite look like the real thing. There are a variety of ways that you can improve it, or improve ready-made furniture that just doesn't seem right. It's easy as long as you have a picture of some real furniture to copy. You can:

  • Paint the furniture black, using acrylic paint. When it is dry use a gold gel pen and draw on designs. Make sure you find some designs to copy first, maybe using library book pictures of real furniture. If you want you can give it a quick spray with matt varnish, but it stays on well without that.

  • Paint the wood with a stained varnish. You can make the furniture look like any type of wood you want, using dark or light varnish. Have a look at the floorboards in the photo, they have been covered in a dark wood stain varnish, but started as Balsa Wood strips.

  • Make small seat cushions for the chairs. All you need is a little circle or square of material, put over a small piece of cotton wool and glue it onto the chair seat with PVA. You'll either need to hold it for a while, or use a few tiny G clamps to hold it in place while the glue dries. You can often find cheap sets, of these little clamps, at a shop similar to Pounland.

Monday, 15 January 2007

How to Make a Miniature Cherry Pie for a Dolls House

  1. First take a gold coloured, beer bottle lid and place it upside down to be your flan dish.

  2. Take a very thin layer of cream, pastry coloured Fimo/Polymer clay and lay it in the base.

  3. If you want a pie with a piece cut out, place some tiny red Fimo balls into your pie. If your doll's house dolls don't like cherry pie, you can always make apple pie, or a meat pie!

  4. Next put a layer of Fimo on the top to be your pie crust. If you are feeling keen, put some tiny leaves in the middle as you would a real pie, and a few holes, where you would have pricked a real one with a fork.

  5. At this stage, if you want a pie with a piece cut out, very carefully, take a slice now. Make sure that you make a few cherries look as if they are rolling out from where you have removed it. If the piece you have removed looks too squashed from removing it, just make up a pretend piece with extra Fimo. (You can cut out a small plate at the same time if you like. Just remember to push it with something circular in the middle to create a dent.)

  6. Bake the Fimo in the oven, inside the beer lid, for the time stated on the packet. If you have removed a slice bake that too. You may want to roll up any cream, Fimo leftovers into tiny potatoes, and cook them at the same time.

  7. Take out your "pie" and let it cool and harden.

  8. Maybe put a tiny amount of brown paint or cold tea onto the top of the pie, to make it looked a bit browned on top.

  9. Varnish with some clear varnish, to strengthen it and to make it look glazed. Some clear, nail varnish, or PVA glue would do.

  10. If you are a perfectionist, paint some gold acrylic paint onto the underside of the beer lid, to cover their logo. Alternatively, just don't look underneath.

  11. WAIT FOR YOUR HUSBAND TO SAY, "I'D HAVE RATHER HAVE HAD A REAL CHERRY PIE." It may be worth cooking a real one in advance to keep him happy!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Covering the Floors and Walls

You can cover the floors in purpose made, carpeting for dolls houses, but here are a few other options, if you are creating an older style of dolls house.

  • If you want a realistic, tiled kitchen floor, cover it with small mosaic tiles. Try to find ones that have turned down edges.

  • If you want a floorboard look, use thin strips of balsa wood and glue them to the floor. Remember that floorboards are not one long strip but have joints. When you have glued them down, give them a coat of clear or stained varnish.

For the walls you can use purpose made, dolls house, wall paper but this works out very expensive. You can use ordinary wallpaper as long as you are careful about which designs you choose. Make sure that they are either plain or have a very tiny prints. You can buy cheap, single, end-of-line rolls of wallpaper or borrow people's left overs. This gives you plenty of room to make mistakes or to wall paper more houses in the future.

Measure each wall with a ruler and then draw out the shapes onto the paper. It should then fit when you try it against the wall. Check that it will fit well, before gluing it. If not, you just have to redo it!

Saturday, 13 January 2007

A Dolls House Kit

A dolls house kit can be quite tricky to put together, so it's best to work with a friend. Once the framework is together you have the wonderful task of decorating it. Here are a few choices for the roof,

  • Cover it with paper printed in brick. Personally I don't like the look of this and it can tear easily.

  • Paint the roof with paint. This is easy but doesn't give the texture of brick.

  • Glue thin balsa wood tiles onto the roof, starting at the bottom and working upwards. These can be bought ready done or cut your own from thin strips of balsa wood. Then paint them the tile colour of you choice. This gives the roof a nice tile feel to it.

Paint the walls a colour of your choice. I think pale blue looks nice.

If your window frames need painting, paint them white before you fit them, or before you put acetate behind them. This saves getting white paint on your walls or on the acetate. If you want a very special window with a stained glass effect, paint it with glass paints before you fit it to the house.

Now the outside is dealt with you are ready to move on to the fun of decorating the inside.